OXFORD — Cole Butcher started on the front row Sunday in the Oxford 250, was sent to the back early, then made his way back up to the front when it mattered most.

Butcher passed Joey Doiron with 27 laps to go by diving down to the bottom, and he was at the top of the mountain at the end of the 50th Oxford 250 on at Oxford Plains Speedway.

It is the Nova Scotia driver’s second straight 250 win, making him the sixth driver to win back-to-back Oxford 250s, a list that also includes Geoff Bodine, Ralph Nason (three in a row), Ben Rowe, Eddie MacDonald and Travis Benjamin.

“It means the world. I mean, the 49th to the 50th,” Butcher said.

The start of the race was delayed nearly two hours due to a rain delay that started soon after the last-chance race.

Butcher won his qualifying heat under sunny skies, which gave him a starting position outside of polesitter Jimmy Renfrew Jr. Once the track dried enough for grand marshal Dave Dion to tell the drivers to start their engines, Butcher helped pace the field in second place until he was sent to the back for spinning Renfrew on lap 6.


“I kind of felt like an idiot. I charged the corner too much and got into the No. 00. So I apologize to them,” Butcher said. “But, I don’t know, I didn’t really know what to expect. We were kind of tight all day. We were loose, we were tight, we were all over the place.”

That resulted in the first of 12 cautions in the race, the last of which came on the 212th lap.

The majority of the leaders pitted during a caution on lap 179. Butcher praised his pit crew for its work during that stop, which was Butcher’s second of the night.

“The (last) pit stop was everything, and that’s the reason why we’re here,” Butcher said.

“I kind of raced like a dummy all night, so my team kind of deserves this one,” he added.

Doiron had to make a long march to the front after starting in the back of the 41-car field. He finished third in his qualifying heat, but failed post-race inspection due to his car being too low.


“We had a really good car. We had a good car in the heat race, and we were just too low,” the Berwick native said. “And went out for the consi, and thought we had it fixed, but unfortunately nobody put the sway bar back in, so we were awful.

“And then we came for the last-chance race, and the car was good again, but Curt Gerry was one of the fastest cars in the field, so he was also in it, and unfortunately (we) just didn’t have quite enough. Luckily we were able to get a provisional.”

Doiron first took the lead at lap 184, then briefly gave it up to 2020 race winner Johnny Clark on lap 209 before getting it back and holding it until Butcher made the race’s last pass for the lead on lap 223.

Doiron lamented what he felt was Butcher’s overly aggressive passing style.

“It’s pretty frustrating,” Doiron said, later adding: “I just got really tight behind him. I tried to get him back, and I got in a four-wheel skid and missed him, unfortunately.”

“It is what it is,” Doiron added. “I think … he won, so congrats to those guys. But, it’s frustrating.”


Butcher brushed aside any critique of his race-winning pass, knowing the stakes and the milestone event.

“I mean, Oxford 250, 50th anniversary — get over it,” Butcher said.

DJ Shaw finished third after starting 25th. He spent a lot of time racing toward the front but was never able to get into the top two.

“It was an uphill battle all night. We qualified 25th, and just dug out of that fairly quick,” the New Hampshire native said. “I think I was up to ninth or so by lap 60, and might have cracked the top-five, there, right before we pitted. And as soon we pitted, I jumped the curb and lost us a few spots, and got caught up, spun around, and lost 10 more, probably.

“Just fought to make up what I lost … and I think we got back to eighth or ninth there before the last stop, and they didn’t lose my anything on pit road. So it gave us a shot, and just didn’t have enough. I think we finished where we deserved to with the car we had, and that’s really all you can ask for.”

Pittsfield native Max Cookson dominated the first half of the race, taking the lead from Mike Hopkins on lap 22 and holding it until lap 139. Curtis Gerry, the 2017 race winner who won Sunday’s last-chance qualifier, held the top spot after that until lap 179, when Windham’s Brandon Barker took over for the lead for three laps.

Johnny Clark and Gabe Brown rounded out the top five. Cookson was just outside in sixth. Joey Pastore, Trevor Sanborn, Derek Griffith and Gabe Brown rounded out the top 10.

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